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Natalie Cole
R.I.P. NATALIE COLE

Singer and songwriter Natalie Cole, a nine-time Grammy winner, died at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on 12/31, her publicist has announced, due to “ongoing health issues.” She was 65.

Cole’s career peak was the 1991 album Unforgettable—With Love, which went six times platinum, powered by a digital duet with her late, legendary father, Nat King Cole.

The vocalist has struggled with serious health problems over the last decade; she underwent a kidney transplant in 2009, which was deemed successful, but was afflicted with hepatitis C. 

Her debut, 1975’s Inseparable, earned her a Best New Artist Grammy and a win for Best Female R&B Performance for the smash “This Will Be.” She took three trophies for the Unforgettable album, and recorded another duet with a vintage Nat Cole recording, "When I Fall in Love," which snagged a Pop Collaboration with Vocals trophy in 1997; Still Unforgettable, meanwhile, won for Traditional Pop Vocal album of 2008. Her 2013 set, En Español, was nominated for a Latin Grammy.

"We are very saddened to learn of the passing of one of music’s most celebrated and iconic women, Natalie Cole," reads a statement from Recording Academy chief Neil Portnow, who added, "We’ve lost a wonderful, highly cherished artist and our heartfelt condolences go out to Natalie’s family, friends, her many collaborators, as well as to all who have been entertained by her exceptional talent."

"Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived ... with dignity, strength and honor,” declares a statement from Cole’s son, Robert Yancy, and sisters Timolin and Casey Cole. “Our beloved Mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain UNFORGETTABLE in our hearts forever." 

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